Boardwalks are an American pastime, and a great way to spend a day or night really indulging with the local and American culture. Typically packed with stores, various amusement park rides, and plenty of food; boardwalks are one of the flagship attractions at many beach towns across the States.
But what are the best boardwalks to visit?
Toted as SoCal’s number one visitor attraction, the Venice Beach Boardwalk is a mile and a half stretch of culture along the sunny coast of the Pacific Ocean. If you are in or around the Los Angeles area, visiting this boardwalk is a must.
What isn’t there to do on the Venice Boardwalk?
One of the prominent features is the street performers. You can find some of the most talented people in the world here on the boardwalk. That’s why it’s recommended that you take a few ones and other change with you to leave a tip. The entertainment they provide will be more than worth it, I promise!
With all of the various souvenir shops, bars, restaurants, and performers, you will get a taste of one of the most demographically diverse areas in the world. Not to mention that you are right on Venice Beach, which is world famous all on its own!
Arnold Schwarzenegger himself worked out on Muscle Beach way back in the day. Working out there just to say that you did will be about the only time the gym will ever be fun, so you might as well do it!
Having been to Myrtle Beach a handful of times in my life, I have been lucky enough to experience this boardwalk plenty of times. I’m not alone, as Myrtle Beach is a hub for tourists, with it boasting an annual visitor count of 14 million.
There is a reason for that, and that’s because of the boardwalk and the entire Boardwalk Entertainment District. There are tons of bars, clubs, and various entertainment options like the famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odd-torium.
As you walk along the 1.2 mile long boardwalk, you’ll be met with store after store, and tons of various vendors selling all sorts of treats. If you don’t feel like walking, a tram runs up and down the boardwalk all day long, you can get a ticket for cheap.
You can’t pass up on your opportunity to ride the SkyWheel either. When it was built in 2011, it was the second tallest Ferris wheel in the United States. If you are really smart, you’ll try to snag some tickets for a night ride, as the wheel puts on an amazing light show.
Add up the first two boardwalks on this list, and you’ll have Riegelmann. With its 2.7 mile long, 80 feet wide boardwalk that connects 37th street and Brighton Beach, Coney Island is one of the original boardwalks.
Having opened in 1923, the Riegelmann has been an American pastime for almost 100 years. Hosting 14 million visitors annually, many people flock here to take in the summertime sunshine and took relax by the beach.
Spend your day eating classic New York food like hot dogs and pizza, and also stroll through the New York Aquarium. At night, catch a Brooklyn Cyclones game at MCU Park, the single-a farm team of the New York Mets (I may or may not be a Mets fan).
Ocean City Boardwalk is my personal favorite. Having been here even more than the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, there was a reason we visited so often. Often ranked as one of the best boardwalks in America by various travel networks, there is more fun to be had here than anywhere.
This boardwalk is a doozy. With its 3-mile long strip, the Ocean City Boardwalk is bustling with day and night life, as well as shopping and food galore!
I also highly recommend stopping in one of the many arcades they have, as I, not to toot my own horn or anything, won 2500 tickets with only $0.75. This is not a guaranteed outcome, it requires skill believe it or not.
One of the cool things about this boardwalk, is the Life-Saving Station Museum; a museum dedicated to the Coast Guard’s predecessor. They also have large saltwater tanks that contain thriving sea creatures!
Even if you are looking to stay on a budget, this boardwalk is perfect. During the summer, there are tons of free activities for the whole family to enjoy right on the beach. These include movies and beach Olympics!
But wait, this isn’t on a beach? That’s right, the Navy Pier in Chicago stretches out into Lake Michigan. Open year-round, Navy Pier especially comes to life in the summer, when they offer free admission, easy waterfront access, and opportunities for all types of people to have fun.
As with most boardwalks, one of the main attractions is the Ferris wheel. Theirs though, the Centennial Wheel, stands at a whopping 196 feet tall, and can hold 500 people in its climate controlled gondolas. During your 15 minute ride, you’ll get a 365 degree view of Chicago and the rest of Navy Pier.
Once you get down from your excursion on the Wheel, take a stroll through the Crystal Gardens, a one-acre indoor botanical garden housing various plants and foliage. It offers some of the best views of the lake and Chicago city skyline.
Many people consider Chicago pizza better than New York’s (news flash: it isn’t), and you’ll have a plethora of choices on the Pier. You should absolutely grab some of that deep dish goodness.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk is the oldest boardwalk in America. Having been constructed in 1870, it has cemented itself as a worldwide icon for almost 150 years.
On its long, 4-mile strip of greatness, the Atlantic City Boardwalk has an entire spectrum worth of activities and debauchery you can get yourself into. Buy some authentic Atlantic City Boardwalk style clothing, and follow that up with a dinner at one of its many five-star restaurants.
If you are feeling lucky, hit up one of the casinos that Atlantic City is famous for. What could go wrong, right?
On top of a fantastic boardwalk, you have the New Jersey beach that you can enjoy a cruise on the ocean, or get a little adventurous and try parasailing or other water sports.
You can’t go wrong with Atlantic City.
If you are looking for classic American fun for your group of friends, or even the whole family; then boardwalks are the perfect place for you to check out!
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